UI finalizes '14 nonconference football schedule
CHAMPAIGN — Sinbad and Scott Bakula aren’t coming to Memorial Stadium.
But Texas State is. So is Bobby Petrino.
Illinois will host Texas State (not the fictional school used in the 1991 comedy “Necessary Roughness” starring Sinbad and Bakula) as the Illini finalized their four nonconference foes for the 2014 season Wednesday.
Texas State is the last nonconference team Illinois will face in 2014. The Bobcats, who finished their first season at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in 2012 with a 4-8 record, start play in the Sun Belt Conference for the 2013 season and will visit Champaign for a Sept. 20 home date in 2014.
Western Kentucky is the other team announced Wednesday to the 2014 schedule, with Petrino, who’s about to enter his first year with the Hilltoppers after replacing Willie Taggart. Western Kentucky visits Memorial Stadium on Sept. 6.
Western Kentucky went 7-6 last season and played in its first bowl game, losing 24-21 to Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Petrino, the older brother of former Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, is trying to revive his coaching career after his ugly dismissal from Arkansas. When news broke of Petrino having an affair with his assistant last spring, Arkansas terminated the coaching veteran.
The Illini will open the 2014 season on Aug. 30 at home against Youngstown State, coached by former Illinois offensive line coach Eric Wolford. It is the first time Illinois will play Youngstown State, Western Kentucky and Texas State in the program’s history. The lone road nonconference game is Sept. 13, when Illinois travels to play at Washington for the first time since 1972.